Riley Anderson is a major character from the Pixar film Inside Out. She is an 11-year old(12 by the end) girl who loves hockey and other sports. Riley was uprooted from her happy and simple life in Minnesota, and taken to San Francisco, California, where she experiences various changes in her life. Her emotions are Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger. She has short dirty blonde hair, a zigzagged rainbow shirt, blue jeans, red tennis shoes and a yellow jacket; She will be voiced by child actress Kaitlyn Dias.
Riley is a major character in the film. Her mind is the main location of it and the main priority of the movie.
When Riley is first born, Joy, her first living emotion is conjured up with baby Riley is smiling right at her parents. A few seconds later, another emotion, named Sadness appears and makes Riley cry. Joy pushes Sadness out of the way and makes Riley happy again.
Over the years, Riley starts to grow up in Minnesota and her other emotions, Disgust, Anger, and Fear are born. Riley becomes happy and jolly pretty much all the time and hardly sad at all. Because of her happiness and joy, Joy unintentionally mistreats Sadness. Riley also becomes one of the best players on her hockey team.
When it is time for Riley and her parents to move to San Francisco, Riley becomes sad and misses her life in Minnesota. When school starts, Riley starts to go from joyous and happy to sentimental and a bit depressed, on account of she misses the good old days in Minnesota. Not to mention, their new house is horrible and the only type of pizza they serve is California pizza. Riley becomes even sadder, Joy does all she can to prevent this from happening. Things go from bad to worse when Sadness accidentally humiliates Riley by making her sob in front of the class while telling her class about the good old days in Minnesota.
This causes a new core memory to be created, which is a sad one. Joy doesn't want Riley to ever be sad so she decides to get rid of it. But during an argument, Joy and Sadness literally get lost in Riley's mind, the others try to keep Riley's head on straight, but it causes Riley to become reclusive, rude, and cantankerous.
The next day, Riley video chats with her old friend, Meg from Minnesota. Things go well until Meg tells Riley all about the wonders of her new best friend and Riley gets so angry, that she hangs up on Meg.
Riley figures that since everything in San Fran is horrible and she is so nostalgic about Minnesota, she decides to run away back to Minnesota. She steals her mother's credit card and skips school to go to the bus back to Minnesota.
When Joy and Sadness finally make it home, Riley finally realizes what she is doing is wrong and decides to run back home. When Riley returns to her worried sick parents, she confesses she was pretending to still be happy and that she misses the good old days in Minnesota. Her parents confess they miss Minnesota as well and Riley finally lets her feelings out.
Soon enough, things are finally looking up for the Andersens. Riley is part of a brand new hockey team and there are new islands in her mind.
- Her mind is extremely large, and includes certain locations like:
- Emotions' Headquarters: the central part of Riley's mind, where Anger, Disgust, Joy, Fear and Sadness all live and control Riley, and where her memories are produced.
- Personality Islands: five personifications of different sides of Riley's personality, as determined by the core memories. This gets extended by the end of the movie.
- Long Term Memory: enormous shelves of various memories forming the main layout of her mind.
- Imagination Land: a place where everything Riley imagines is built.
- Dream Productions: where dreams are filmed.
- Subconscious: contains Riley's worst fears.
- Abstract Thought: a place were ideas (or anyone inside) are simplified to an abstract concept.
- Train of Thought: a train that connects Headquarters and the rest of the mind.
- Memory Dump: an abyss surrounding Headquarters, where faded memories end up and eventually disappear to be forgotten forever.
In the MCF series, Riley debuts in "RMCF: Meet the New Girl" where her father moves them to Cartoon Town after her father gets a(nother) new job. This time, she is able to make new friends in the form of the Rookie Mystery Case Files and her emotions don't conflict all that much...except the fact that she becomes bullied by Sperg, Francis and Mindy, their leader. The Rookies make a bet with Sperg and Francis that they can get Riley popular, a boyfriend and to be queen of the upcoming Middle School Formal dance all by the end of the school week. The story has Riley going through a Cinderella-esque transformation with the Rookies helping her and her emotions to adjust as well.
In the MCF/RMCF series, since Riley is new to Cartoon Town, she can be quite naive to the dangers it can possess as shown in "MCF: The New Life and Times of Riley Anderson" before she manages to deal with them with her emotions' and her new friends' help.
- RMCF: Meet the New Girl(Debut)
- MCF: One Night with the Monster(Return)
- MCF: The New Life and Times of Riley Anderson
- MCF: Inside Out
- Riley is the first Pixar character to be a location.
- In the teaser trailer, Riley with her mom and dad are eating from Chinese food boxes of the same type as the one seen in A Bug's Life and several other Pixar films.
- In said teaser trailer, the playground seen in Riley's memory orb is taken from Sunnyside Daycare in Toy Story 3.
- Her last name is based off of Pixar employee Darla K. Anderson and the Toy Story 3 character Bonnie Anderson.
- Both of Riley's parents have brown hair and brown eyes, suggesting her blonde hair and blue eyes were inherited recessively.
- Riley is left-handed. This is shown when she is drawing Bing Bong on the walls as a toddler and how she shoots the puck in hockey. She also uses her left hand when she is eating.
- Riley is the only character in the film to have emotions of different genders.
- According to Pete Docter, this was done to make them as diverse as possible, while the emotions of other persons were uniformized for quick readability. He states that it's "a little phony, but hopefully people don't mind."
- It does, however, make sense that Riley has more female emotions than males. (Joy, Disgust, and Sadness are all girls, making 3 female emotions, while Anger and Fear only make 2 males.)
- When going into the minds of various characters, the film seems to suggest that children and teenagers all have emotions of different genders while adults' emotions are all the same gender.
- Riley's yelling, screaming, and crying when she was a toddler are actually recycled recordings of Boo's shouting and crying from Monsters, Inc.
- Coincidentally, both Monsters, Inc. and Inside Out were directed by Peter Docter.
- Mary Gibbs, Boo's original voice actor, is even listed under additional voices for this film.
- Riley's original home in Minnesota might be a reference to director Pete Docter, who was also originally from Minnesota.
- Riley is inspired by Pete Docter's daughter, Elie (the voice of Young Ellie in Up). As a child, she was outgoing and goofy. When she turned eleven, she became more introverted and quiet.
- Riley is the second Disney heroine to have coulrophobia (a fear of clowns), the first being Lilo and second being Star Butterfly.
- She's also the first Disney heroine to have arachnophobia (a fear of spiders).
- If Inside Out takes place in 2015, this means Riley was born in 2004.
- In the MCF series, Riley forms a bond with each of the Rookies and is a really good friend to them.